Don’t get it twisted and don’t be mislead by the title, reading this blog post does not mean you’ll suddenly learn how to respect yourself right away. This almost goes without saying, most things take practice and if you’re not accustomed to a certain behavior, you’ll have to practice several times before it turns into a habit. With that said, the exercises that I’m providing in this post will have to be practiced continuously before you’ll start to see some movement towards forming more respect for yourself. Last week I provided a few tools to help us identify what self-respect isn’t; because most people who lack self-respect inadvertently create space for others to mistreat them, or they return to a bad situation over and over again for a variety of reasons. I also really want to mention that some of us might not be aware of the fact that we lack self-respect. If you’re use to operating from a specific accord, your mindset is focused on; ”this is how things have always been” and/or “this is how I’ve always been” so you learn to accept it and live with it. This is an excellent example of how lacking self-awareness can be detrimental.
I think where some of us fall short is, living our lives for others or to please others. There are a lot of people who are unhappy and instead of creating their own happiness, they try to find happiness in other people (specifically in romantic relationships). Break ups are never easy but if you’re reaction to the break up is dangerous to yourself or the other person; there is something much deeper than the break up going on that needs desperate attention. But, again, the lack of self-awareness and operating from a specific accord clouds your judgement around this issue. While the methods I’m about to share won’t change your behavior overnight, it will hopefully open your mind to some possibilities.
TUNE IN check in with yourself and how you’re feeling. Ask yourself some really difficult questions. If the answers to those questions causes you to cringe at the alternative then you’ve got some work to do. Here’s an example of what I mean, years ago I was in a relationship that I knew in my heart wasn’t good for me but I stayed in it anyway, when I thought about walking away; I felt uncomfortable, my heart would race, and overall I felt uneasy. I knew something was wrong when the thought of not being in a relationship elicit so much discomfort. My point is, even if we don’t like to be single the thought of being single should not feel like an anxiety attack. Check in with your self!
JOURNAL if you’re a regular here then you already know that journaling as an option will make an appearance in one of the blog post occasionally lol. Don’t sleep on it, journaling is really impactful and beneficial and it brings forth change. I’ve said it often, journals are easily our best friends because we can share anything with our journals and it won’t be repeated to anyone else. Journaling also allows us to unpack our feelings and through this unpacking, a lot can be revealed, possibly things that you’ve never realized before. These realizations usually occurs after you’ve journal consistently.
SPEAK UP if you’re naturally shy this might be a bit difficult but I read a quote once that said “say what you feel, even if your voice shakes.” Standing up for yourself (even if it’s for something small) is a clear sign that you have respect for yourself and that you know your voice and opinion deserves to be heard. When you do this the other person may not like it; just remember that you’re not responsible for their reaction to what you shared especially if it’s shared with love and from a place of kindness.
DISAGREE SOMETIMES you don’t always have to do what the other person wants to do; especially if what they’re suggesting makes you uncomfortable. Please don’t fall for this “if you love me, you’ll do….” it’s a trap, that’s not love. People who love you won’t ask you do something you don’t want to do especially if it can cause harm in anyway.
These exercises may not be the foundation or the quintessential rules for self-respect. These are simple methods that you can start to incorporate in your lifestyle to help you on the path to self healing and self-respect. Also, once you put these into practice, if anyone in your life makes you feel guilty for doing either of these things, that’s a red flag and a clear indication that maybe this person don’t have your best interest at heart. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to walk away, but you may want to consider setting boundaries and/or distancing yourself to protect your energy while you’re on this journey.
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